Zhongyi Mitakon Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 Review

The Mitakon 50/0.95 is a very special lens and there are not many options out there if you want to buy a super fast 50mm lens. Of course there is the Leica Noctilux, which is an awesome lens but costs almost 10000 Euros and there is the SLR Magic HyperPrime which is not as expensive as the Leica lens but still a lot more expensive than the Mitakon. For me personally, the Mitakon was the main reason to invest into the Sony E-Mount System. I shoot a lot of weddings and the A7s combined with this lens seemed to be the perfect low light option.

Zhongyi Mitakon Speedmaster 50mm f0.95 Review1

Sony A7s, 1/6400, f/0.95, ISO 100


Build Quality:

When it comes to build quality the Mitakon 50/0.95 is good but certainly has some drawbacks. The lens is made out of metal and glass like old legacy lenses. It is very heavy and for its focal length it is fairly huge, especially if you take into account that this lens was particularly designed for E-Mount.

Holding it in your hands and taking a closer look you will notice that it is absolutely not in the same ball park with Zeiss, Leica or Voigtländer. Focusing is relatively smooth but the focus ring is rather on the stiff side. But my biggest issue with its build quality is the aperture ring, which is click-less and turning it accidentally is highly likely, especially when you want it to stick at f/0.95.

And of course there is the provided lens hood which is simply a joke. It is made out the cheapest plastic you could image and very easy to lose. My solution is very easy, I simply don’t use it.

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Sony A7s, 1/8000, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/200, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/2000, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/8000, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/125, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/50, f/0.95, ISO 2500


Image Quality:

The purpose of a lens with a maximum aperture of f/0.95 is to gather as much light as possible to give the photographer the ability to shoot in almost any lighting condition and of course to deliver a creamy background blur and subject isolation. But there is no point if the lens doesn’t deliver in terms of sharpness and needs to be stopped down to deliver good results.

The good news is, the Mitakon is absolutely usable wide open and I rarely go beyond f/1.2. The corner performance wide open is not great and the lens suffers from a very noticeable field curvature, but that is something I can totally live with. The list of flaws doesn’t end here, because there is more. The Speedmaster is very prone to flaring. When shooting wide open against a bright light source flaring is inevitable and can potentially ruin your shot. But you could also use it to your advantage and add an eye catching element to your shots. When stopped down slightly, flaring becomes less of an issue and is very good controlled for such an extreme lens.

So technically spoken the Mitakon 50/0.95 is not perfect at all and it has some flaws that could be a dealbreaker for some people. But at the same time these flaws add a lot of character and will give the images a certain and almost unique look, which is hard to achieve with an almost perfect lens like the Zeiss FE 55/1.8 for instance. It is hard to describe and certainly not measurable but the results almost have a medium format look with such a shallow depth of field.

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Sony A7s, 1/160, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/100, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/8000, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/100, f/0.95, ISO 320

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Sony A7s, 1/4000, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/6400, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/160, f/0.95, ISO 25600

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Sony A7s, 1/160, f/0.95, ISO 5000

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Sony A7s, 1/160, f/0.95, ISO 25600


Usability:

The Mitakon 50/0.95 is a heavy beast with its nearly 800gr and that is something you will notice right away and of course it is not small either. I took the lens with me on a trip to Israel and Jordan but I wouldn’t recommend it for a travel kit, because it is simply too heavy and rather big what might get you more intention as you need if you are a street photographer. For me personally it’s more a portrait lens and I use it for weddings all the time. Even though it’s manual focus only and the FE 55 seems to be a better choice for moving subjects, I end up using the Mitakon more often. But since I am used to manual focus it’s no big deal at all, at least for me.

Alternatives:

Sony FE 55/1.8:

At almost the same price, the FE 55 might be the better choice for most photographers. It is crazy sharp, has a very creamy bokeh und is much smaller and lighter. And of course the build quality is superior as well. But the Zeiss doesn’t add so much character to results as the Mitakon does. I use both lenses, but if I would pick the Mitakon if I had to chose one.

Zeiss 50/2.0 Loxia:

The Loxia 50mm f2 has a better build quality than the Mitakon, but the image quality is not on par with the FE 55. If you are absolutely serious about manual focus and build quality and a small form factor are very important aspects for you, then the Loxia is definitely a valid option. Otherwise I would recommend the FE 55, which isn’t particularly good for manual focus but is superior in every other category over the Loxia 50/2.

Verdict:

Even though 50mm has never been my favorite focal length, the Mitakon Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 was without a doubt my most used lens of 2015. It has its flaws like mentioned before, but the  results it is giving me are unreal. Put this lens on a A7s(II) and you can literately see in the dark. Hopefully, Zhongyi will come up with more lenses like this, e.g. a 35mm 0.95 for FE Mount would be awesome. 😀

 

 

If you have any questions, leave a comment below and I will try to answer them as soon as possible. And of course smack the like button and follow me on facebook!

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Help me to grow this site:

If you’re planning to purchase the Mitakon 50/0.95, you can use the Amazon links below, that won’t cost you more and helps me to do more reviews of this kind in the future.

 

For readers from Germany:

Zhongyi Mitakon Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95

 

For US readers:

Zhongyi Mitakon Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95

 

More Image Samples:

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Sony A7s, 1/1600, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/25, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/2500, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/1600, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/3200, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/250, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/1000, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7r, 1/160, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7r, 1/100, f/0.95, ISO 1000

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Sony A7r, 1/2500, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7rII, 1/100, f/0.95, ISO 160

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Sony A7rII, 1/250, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7rII, 1/125, f/0.95, ISO 200

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Sony A7r, 1/1600, f/2.0, ISO 100

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Sony A7r, 1/4000, f/0.95, ISO 100

asasas

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Sony A7s, 1/200, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/2500, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s 1/80, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/3200, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/320, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/250, f/0.95, ISO 500

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Sony A7s, 1/320, f/0.95, ISO 160

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Sony A7s, 1/125, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/500, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/1250, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/3200, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7r, 1/125, f/0.95, ISO 125

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Sony A7s, 1/250, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/2500, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/1600, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/4000, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/1600, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/1250, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/4000, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/2000, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/1600, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/1250, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/4000, f/0.95, ISO 100

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Sony A7s, 1/250, f/0.95, ISO 250

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Sony A7s, 1/160, f/0.95, ISO 250

asasa

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Sony A7r, 1/100, f/0.95, ISO 2500

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Sony A7r, 1/60, f/0.95, ISO 25600

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Sony A7s, 1/30, f/0.95, ISO 25600

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Sony A7s, 1/60, f/0.95, ISO 1000

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Sony A7s, 1/60, f/0.95, ISO 25600

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Sony A7s, 1/100, f/0.95, ISO 10000

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Sony A7s, 1/100, f/0.95, ISO 10000

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Sony A7s, 1/100, f/0.95, ISO 8000

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Sony A7s, 1/100, f/0.95, ISO 25600

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Sony A7r, 1/100, f/0.95, ISO 20000

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Sony A7s, 1/100, f/0.95, ISO 51200

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Sony A7s, 1/100, f/0.95, ISO 51200

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Sony A7s, 1/100, f/0.95, ISO 51200

 

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Sony A7s, 1/100, f/0.95, ISO 25600

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Sony A7s, 1/100, f/0.95, ISO 51200

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Sony A7s, 1/125, f/0.95, ISO 51200

14 Kommentare
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  • BastianKFebruary 5, 2016 - 07:18

    Interessant, dass du jetzt auch eine A7s mit dem Mitakon nutzt.
    Die Ansichten zum Objektiv teile ich, die Sache mit dem Blendenring stört mich auch am meisten, dadurch wurden bei mir mehr Bilder mit 1.4 statt 0.95 gemacht als nötig…
    Glücklicherweise gibt es viele abgerundete Blendenlamellen, sonst würde mich das noch erheblich mehr stören…

      ReplyCancel

    • RobinFebruary 5, 2016 - 14:14

      Hallo Bastian! Nutze die die A7s mittlerweile schon seit 1,5 Jahren und das Mitakon kam kurze Zeit später dazu.
      Auch an der A7rII schlägt sich das Teil sehr gut! 🙂

        ReplyCancel

  • DaveFebruary 10, 2016 - 04:57

    Again, great review Robin and I agree with your thoughts about the Mitakon (and the hope for a 35!). Side question if you don’t mind… What triggers are you using for your flash? I haven’t found any wireless triggers for Sony that work as well as the set up I was using with Canon yet.

      ReplyCancel

    • RobinFebruary 10, 2016 - 12:56

      Hi Dave! Thanks for your comment. I use the Profoto Air Remote and the PixelKing triggers.

        ReplyCancel

  • […] Das Objektiv gibt es derzeit in zweiter Auflage, die Dark Knight genannt wird. Hier ein Review von Robin Schimko. 67mm Filter, 760 Gramm, 900 […]

      ReplyCancel

  • David ContrerasJune 20, 2016 - 12:14

    Great review!

    I have the same lens and I have been thinking about buying my first filter for it.

    What do you think it is better given the fact I use it over all for street night photography? UV/IR? Or polarised?

    Thanks!!!

      ReplyCancel

    • RobinJune 20, 2016 - 15:55

      Hi David! I never use filters to protect the lens, only if I need to cut down ambient light I’ll put on a ND filter.

        ReplyCancel

  • John JovicDecember 9, 2016 - 21:08

    Great review, thanks very much.

    Your wedding images in the gallery are stunning, keep up the great work.

      ReplyCancel

    • RobinDecember 15, 2016 - 00:31

      Thank you John! 🙂

        ReplyCancel

  • Emanuel TobiasDecember 20, 2016 - 17:31

    Hi, I coinsider myself your fan, your reviews are very useful,

    I love the pictures you post using the MITAKON SPEEDMASTER 50MM F/0.95, I only have a question, I see you have a creamy look on the pics, dou you have this result using a filter with adobe or this is how it looks just using the A7s an the MITAKON lens,

    Thanks a lot!,

    Emanuel T

      ReplyCancel

    • RobinDecember 21, 2016 - 10:17

      Thanks Emanuel!

      I think what you are referring to is just the bokeh resulting from using the lens wide open most of the time. 🙂

        ReplyCancel

  • Steph753January 27, 2017 - 12:36

    What do you think about ISO (and high ISO) between A7SII and A7RII ?
    Similar or a perceptible difference ?

      ReplyCancel

    • RobinJanuary 28, 2017 - 03:19

      Hey Steph. There is a difference in high ISOs, but it’s not that big and I rather use the A7rII because of the higher res sensor.
      If I would use ISOs higher 25.000 a lot, I would probably pick the A7s(II) over the A7rII.

        ReplyCancel

  • […] in anderen Fotografie-Blogs, die mich im letzten Jahr am meisten inspiriert haben, sind (1) ein Objektiv-Review mit tollen Beispielbildern von Robin Schimko. Es geht doch nix über Kleinbildformat und eine […]

      ReplyCancel